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9/9 Matthew 21-23

Sometimes I wonder if 3 chapters a day during the week is too much, especially when there are so many amazing things going on.  Starting off with Chapter 21 is Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem riding a donkey and with that the fulfillment of prophecy.  Then after that, Jesus cleans up the temple and once all the excitement dies down, the Jewish authorities go on the attack.  Questioning Jesus, trying to trick him at every turn. Yet each and every time Jesus is two steps ahead of them, knowing what they are thinking before they do.  I guess that is something for us to take into consideration.  Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves.  He knows what we are thinking and he knows what is in our hearts.  Does that bother anyone besides me?  What does that mean when we are not thinking nice things about another person?

All through these chapters we see where they are out to get Jesus. Trying to get him to make a mistake.  From the Paying Taxes to Caesar trap, to the Marriage at the Resurrection trap, to the what is the Greatest Commandment trap. Each time Jesus answers them, and basically stuns the questioner.  When he  turns the table on them and asks them a question like whose Son is the Christ, they are stumped. You would think that they would learn and give up.

This was an interesting summation of the seven woes from an author on Wikipedia

The woes themselves are the following criticisms:

  1. Shutting the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. (Mat. 23:13-14)
  2. Making converts twice as much a son of hell as the converters themselves are. (Mat. 23:15)
  3. Claiming that swearing by the temple is nothing, but claiming that swearing by the temple’s gold is everything. (Mat. 23:16-22)
  4. Obeying the minutiae of the law (such as giving up a tithe) but neglecting the important facets (such as justice, and mercy) – metaphorically straining out a gnat but swallowing a camel. (Mat. 23:23-24)
  5. Being shallow – metaphorically cleaning the outside of the cup and dish but leaving the inside full of greed and self-indulgence. (Mat. 23:25-26)
  6. Hypocrisy – appearing righteous but actually being full of wickedness, metaphorically like whitewashed tombs, beautiful on the outside, but full of dead men’s bones. (Mat. 23:23-27)
  7. Claiming that they would have behaved better than their forefathers – even though they build and respect the tombs of those who murdered the prophets. (Mat. 23:29-36)

I am pretty sure we would hate for Jesus to say any of these things about us.

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September 9, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,

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